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Old November 25th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #1
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Monitor Calibration

I was speaking to a good friend who also happens to do some photog work. I was asking him about his color correction and the discussion drifted to monitor calibration as his first step in the process.

He told me how the program/tool he used gave him a before and after view of his monitor's calibration. He then commented that if his monitor isn't right, what he is adjusting isn't right either. This makes sense. So I looked into several software/tools and they all say the same thing. Your photos will look the same when printed as you see them on your monitor.

No where does it talk about how this would relate to video, and I can't remember seeing threads discussing this either over the years.

So does this apply to what we do, especially when it comes to color correction ??? Are you doing it ??? How regularly ??? What are you using ??? Any input will be greatly appreciated, thanks guys and ladies !!!!
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Old November 26th, 2010, 02:21 AM   #2
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If your talking to a stills person, then yeah, his calibration is for stills. The gamma for video is way different.
Do you have a Video monitor? or a TV you using for monitor? The monitor has built in tools to help you, like blue only, bars, etc.
If you know how to use smpte color bars then your better off. Even if your using a TV if you run the smpte bars to it and know how to tweak to get proper bars and contrast and gamma, then your ok.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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Hi Ted. What I have is my relatively new Dell 24" computer monitor and that is what I am concerned with. I want to make sure that the colors I see here are also the ones someone's TV is going to show, as long as theirs is set correctly too. Is that possible with a computer monitor or do I need to get something different for my editing ???

I have had some issues with white balance and also the colors I see after using white balance correction in After Effects. What I am trying to do is eliminate any other possibilities, to make sure what I am seeing is actually what there is.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #4
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Here's my take...

I calibrate using a relatively cheap Colormunki design, works well for dual monitors, and IMO it gets the COLOR right, meaning what I see is what I'd expect. When looking at the "before and after", it doesn't seem like the difference is THAT drastic, but when you consider that two supposedly identical monitors have different adjustment curves applied, you begin to realize the nature of the problem! At least my monitors "look" the same when calibrated!

BUT, I find the brightness and contrast are another issue entirely, so I find when I play back a "finished" disc on a calibrated TV it may need a little tweaking, sometimes I will go back and readjust a bit.

Calibration is a really tricky thing - every "display device" (including various papers!) will have different properties, some slightly different, some drastic. This actually also applies to any image CAPTURE device as well (different cameras have different "looks"). So "calibration" is just ONE part of the overall "picture", literally.

And after you carefully choose your camera, diligently WB every shot, calibrate your monitors and playback TV, tweak your CC to the tiniest detail.... guess what...

The average consumer TV probably won't be even close to "calibrated", nor will most monitors they pick up off the shelf - the design criteria is more "does it look 'good'", NOT is it an accurate representation of the original scene.

Part of the "art" in photography and videography is accuracy, but another important component is "enhancement" of the original to create a "better than being there" experience, and you do have to take into consideration what the average playback system will be like - if you know what your playback system looks like with "store bought", you've got at least a "target".

It's like how good audio producers with $10,000 reference monitors will take a mix out and play it on a run of the mill stock car audio system... does it still sound good?
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Old November 26th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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I use Huey monitor Calibration and it calibrates for video. It does make a difference when you look at the before/after.

LONG ago before I had a HUEY I was editing wedding after wedding (I was new to the business) and I was still learning the camera etc. Every new wedding that I uploaded seemed to be "darker" than the one before once I got it into editing.

I would edit the heck out of it to fix it and move on to the next and every time I filmed I tried really hard to film "bright". But no matter what it looked DARK in editing.

Finally I borrowed a photogs HUEY and tried it on my computer. OMG! I had to re-edit everything I was working on PLUS I contacted 2 brides and explained what happened and that I was replacing the DVDs I'd sent them with "fixed" footage.

I swear by my HUEY.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #6
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Thanks guys for the input, all of it is greatly appreciated.

Dave, you could be very right and this may turn into overkill. But I am at a point where I really do need to eliminate each of these possibilities, one at a time, and then all of them together, just to give myself the piece of mind that what I see is exactly what there is. Kelsey brings up a great scenario of garbage in, garbage out. What I don't want to have happen is "doing the mix on a stock car audio system and then delivering to people with the 10K monitors". :-) And right now, that's the gut feeling I have.

Kelsey, I am investigating that Huey, do you have the Pro or the Standard model ??? Also, does it hold the calibration, as it says it is to be connected and will calibrate at whatever intervals you set ??? My daughter does some editing for me and I wanted to calibrate her laptop when she is home for Christmas. She lives in Texas, so constant calibration won't be possible, without buying a second one for her, which I would rather not do.

Also, Kelsey, did you try examining the Color Bars Ted discussed, either before or after calibration ??? If so, how did that look and work out ???
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Old November 27th, 2010, 03:56 PM   #7
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Chip -
I previously used the Huey, the basic model, and they will upgrade you to the pro (think it's just the software?). I actually have TWO, as the auto adjust required the Huey to be connected to the computer. The basic software wouldn't work for multiple monitors, I think the pro might? Since I use dual screens, that was really my only complaint, and I do miss the way they adjust for room light brightness, which helps a lot if you don't have a controlled studio to mix in! The Huey always worked well for me overall, and if I was on a single screen, probably still be using them!

The Colormunki just hooks up and you calibrate (and you can do each screen profile individually), then wait for it to ask again at whatever interval you specify. It matches my two screens nicely, and I calibrate the laptop once in a while, although I swear that it resets itself, since it's a fancy laptop and probably thinks it knows best!

I actually am about to sell the Hueys... PM me if you're interested, I was just getting ready to toss them up on eBay. Just as soon pack them in one box and ship them together, if it would work for you!
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Old November 28th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #8
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We use the Spyder 3 Elite review - V4 software which allows adjustment for ambient light & any colour standard you require. It's great to know that what we see on my wife's monitor will still look the same on mine.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 10:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Thome View Post
Thanks guys for the input, all of it is greatly appreciated.

Dave, you could be very right and this may turn into overkill. But I am at a point where I really do need to eliminate each of these possibilities, one at a time, and then all of them together, just to give myself the piece of mind that what I see is exactly what there is. Kelsey brings up a great scenario of garbage in, garbage out. What I don't want to have happen is "doing the mix on a stock car audio system and then delivering to people with the 10K monitors". :-) And right now, that's the gut feeling I have.

Kelsey, I am investigating that Huey, do you have the Pro or the Standard model ??? Also, does it hold the calibration, as it says it is to be connected and will calibrate at whatever intervals you set ??? My daughter does some editing for me and I wanted to calibrate her laptop when she is home for Christmas. She lives in Texas, so constant calibration won't be possible, without buying a second one for her, which I would rather not do.

Also, Kelsey, did you try examining the Color Bars Ted discussed, either before or after calibration ??? If so, how did that look and work out ???
I'm assuming I have the PRO only because I bought the most expensive version they had at the time? Mine is set to calibrate every 2 weeks and it seems to maintain great calibration in between. In fact when I borrowed my friends I sort of figured "Great...my monitor is calibrated now." and figured I didn't need to buy my own. It probably took about 8 months before I started to notice my footage "darken" again and I finally bought my own. It took a LONG time to happen though so doing your daughters laptop should be fine :)
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